By: Elise Parrill

The cheering and enthusiastic voices resonate through the room as upbeat music invades your ears; it’s the sound of happiness. One would never know that they meet up to work out.

Twice a week, Bellarmine students attend the well-loved, and cleverly named, fitness class Butts and Guts in the Sports and Recreation Fitness Center (SuRF). As the name suggests, the class focuses on toning the abdomen and butt—with a touch of cardio here and there. Butts and Guts is one of the most popular and well-attended classes, yet, it is much more than an intense workout.

The class not only helps students get in shape but also helps them form new friendships. Freshman Suzanna Weiss never fails to attend and is always excited to go to Butts and Guts.

“I love coming to Butts and Guts. The group is so energetic, and they actually make working out fun. I never thought I would say that,” Weiss said.

As they set up their equipment, students make jokes and talk to each other about their day. For some, they see each other only at Butts and Guts. They look forward to meeting new people and seeing new friends. Someone looking in would never know this because strangers talk as if they have known each other for years.

The upbeat music, comradery and fun workouts are not the only factors that continue to bring students to class each week.

“Yes, the workouts are cool, but I’ve attended a few of the workout classes and none of them have an instructor as sweet as Mary,” Weiss said.

Instructor Mary Delk has been teaching fitness classes at Bellarmine for roughly eight years and teaching classes in Kentucky for more than 30 years. She makes the class different from a traditional workout class. Delk’s encouraging and quirky attitude encourages students to return week after week.

Depending on the week, the class size varies, but first-year student Chelsea York always arrives early and ready to have fun.

“My favorite part of the class is Mary. I keep attending because of Mary,” York said. 

Despite the challenging exercises, Delk finds a way to bring smiles on everyone’s faces. Her positive attitude is contagious.

“It’s so much fun when we start randomly cheering as we squat or lift weights. It really helps me push through the hard exercises,” York said. 

Delk motivates students to make healthy lifestyle choices. She wants everyone to be at his or her best and feel confident.

“I don’t care if somebody comes for 14 minutes. It just matters that they came. It starts little by little,” Delk said.

She said she draws inspiration from various videos, fitness magazines and national certification conferences to ensure that her class benefits everybody. Delk’s years of expertise and training help students get an effective workout.

“I love to exercise, and a lot of people think that it’s hard. I think it’s fun, and I try to make my classes fun instead of the drudgery or working out,” Delk said. “You always have room to learn from something and someone. Create a habit of coming to fitness classes, and it will pay off.” 

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